Mar 26, 2012

Acid victim commits suicide after justice system fails her

Fakhra Younus jumped to her death in Rome after undergoing 39 reconstructive surgeries to her face and body, and countless futile attempts to get justice in her home country
Fakhra Younus, a 32-year-old Pakistani national, jumped to her death in Rome on March 17 after undergoing 39 reconstructive surgeries to her face and body. A former resident of the red light district area in Karachi, Fakhra married Bilal Khar, son of former Punjab governor Gulam Mustafa Khar, in 1997.

What was meant to be a fairytale marriage quickly turned into a tale of torture. According to Pakistan newspaper Express Tribune's reports, Fakhra endured three years of a violent marriage. When she attempted to leave, Khar attacked her with acid. Fakhra's five-year-old son from an earlier relationship was witness to the incident.
This was 12 years ago, in 2000. Khar's stepmother Tehmina Durrani stepped in to help the woman. Meanwhile, media exposure on the case brought it to the attention of the Italian government. They volunteered to provide care and reconstructive surgery for Fakhra. Durrani accompanied her to Rome, where the duo spent 12 years.
After over a decade of surviving with the scars, having undergone 39 surgeries and not getting the justice that she so desperately sought, Fakhra jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Rome, where she was living.
Before committing suicide, Fakhra wrote a note stating that she was ending her life due to the "silence of law on the atrocities and the insensitivity of Pakistani rulers". She was buried in Karachi yesterday.
According to Dawn News, Bilal Khar said he had been proved innocent and if Younus had to commit suicide because of him, she would have done it 12 years ago.